Portfolios, assessment and Mahara

We have recently introduced the Mahara e-portfolio system at the University of Sussex, as part of our integrated e-submission and e-feedback solution (ESEF), electronically managing assessment from assignment brief to moderated marks. The primary aim of adding Mahara to our suite of applications was to broaden the range of assignment types available for electronic submission, both allowing our students to submit a more diverse range of media types and also capturing the more complex relationships between assignment elements that characterise portfolio submissions.

ePortfolios have a wide range of differing conceptions and purposes, leading to a certain level of ambiguity in definitions and terminology (see Hughes, 2008, Grant, 2005). Our initial implementation, paying particular attention to the role of the portfolio in presenting selected content for assessment, therefore represents only a section of the possibilities for learning and personal development, but more on that later. Read more ›

Posted in Marking and assessment, Study Direct

Podcast Episode 8 – A Space Beyond the Room – Using a blogging platform to support learners


Podcast Episode 8 – A Space Beyond the Room – Using a blogging platform to support learners

In this episode, Sally Burr talks to Dr Rebecca Webb, Lecturer in Early Years and Primary Education at the University of Sussex, and a group of Doctoral and Early Career Researchers, who have started using WordPress as a tool for developing their writing in a blog called Writing into Meaning. In this podcast the learners show how the blog has proved to be a motivational platform to share their successes, a trigger for further experimental writing and a place where they can share their concerns as learners and writers.


Writing into Meaning Blog
Guide to Getting Started with WordPress
Sussex Blogs (WordPress)
Guide to Using Blogs in Higher Education
Using Blogging as a Learning Tool
Using Blogs in Learning and Teaching 

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Posted in Mobile learning, Podcast, Social media

Tech for active learning in large groups.

How can we promote and manage active learning during lectures? How can we measure student understanding and make sure that students are engaging with material?

In 1972, Donald Bligh (1) undertook an extensive study on the use of the lecture as an educational format. He found that it was effective but not more effective than other methods used for transmitting information and that it is relatively ineffective for many other aspects of education including the promotion of higher order thinking. Bligh also observed that concentration levels of students typically drop after 10 – 15 minutes of passively listening to a lecture. Since these studies took place, technology has provided us with an increasingly sophisticated, interactive and accessible range of formats for transmitting information and facilitating active learning. This article looks at a few tried and tested strategies for using technology to enhance learning for teaching large groups of students.

"Bristol ~ Wales ~ Cardigan ~ Do Lectures ~ London - April 2013" flickr photo by Samantha_Bell https://flickr.com/photos/samanthabell/8737957816 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

flickr photo by Samantha_Bell https://flickr.com/photos/samanthabell/8737957816 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

The ‘flipped’ classroom

This model changes the dynamic of learning and teaching to enable more active learning and can be applied to both small and large group teaching across a range of disciplines. The basic premise of this model is that pre-class independent study is typically focussed on transmission of knowledge, whilst time in class is spent on active learning to provide opportunities to apply concepts and reinforce understanding. This approach is commonly used in conjunction with the peer-instruction and team-based learning methods mentioned in this article. 7 things you should know about flipped classroom provides a useful introductory guide.

We have recently set-up a flipped learning group for staff at University of Sussex, please see our webpages for details if you would like to be involved. Read more ›

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Posted in Learning Design, Polling tools

What’s new in the A-Z of apps?

An image of an A - Z (apps)

“fpx0528111-a-z” flickr photo by fontplaydotcom shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Have you seen the Technology Enhanced Learning A-Z of apps recently? We now have nearly 100 entries on our list!

If you’ve not yet had a chance to look through our selection of teaching and learning tools, head over now to see the updated list which now includes:

> Anchor FM
> Box
> Cogi
> Photos for Class
> Slack and Wix.

See below for a review of the latest additions.

Read more ›

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Posted in App review, Images and Copyright, Technology Enhanced Learning

5 more tips for multimedia enhanced teaching and learning

Image source: CC0 Public Domain Free for commercial use No attribution required

Why is a teacher like an artist? How can video, audio, digital annotation and other forms of multimedia be used in education?

Due to the overwhelming response we had to our previous blog post 5 Tips for Multimedia Enhanced Teaching and Learning, we have put together 5 more tips for using multimedia technology to make your teaching more diverse, engaging and inclusive. In their research on multimodality and multimodal learning, Gunther Kress and his colleagues argued that presenting information through ‘one mode alone fails to capture the meaning of a communicative event’ and that, when you combine modes, they interact to create ‘multimodal ensembles’ which convey ‘more complex, modulated meanings’.  Read more ›

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Posted in App review, Digital scholarship, Learning Design, Mobile learning, Technology Enhanced Learning

3 ways to develop rich resources on Study Direct (Moodle)

“Treasure 013-1” flickr photo by leigh49137 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

Most people start using the Sussex University VLE (Study Direct) to upload resources – usually slides from lectures. That is a great start, but there is much more that can be done to provide interesting and engaging resources for students.  Read more ›

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Posted in Learning Design, Study Direct, Technology Enhanced Learning

Digital skills for post-university life

“Social Media” flickr photo by magicatwork shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

How can technology be used to help prepare for post-university life?

There are many digital tools that can help students to start researching careers and building a positive online presence.

We look at tools useful to a student or to a tutor wanting to promote Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Read more ›

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Posted in Digital scholarship, Technology Enhanced Learning

Podcast Episode 7 – Hands-on Learning with Technology – Pollie Barden

Podcast Episode 7 – Hands-on Learning with Technology – Pollie Barden

Read more ›

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Posted in Digital scholarship

About our blog

We are the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team at the University of Sussex. We publish posts each week on using technology to support teaching and learning. Read more about us.

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